Bug spray and plants. . .

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I have several bonsai trees and plants, and they were doing rather well untill someone sprayed a large amount of "Off" bug spray on and around them. Does anyone know what to do about it? I have rinsed the plants off as best as I could but the leaves are all turning and I am afraid that they are dying. The plants that are effected are two Fujian Tea (Carmona Buxifolia), two Weeping Barbados Cherries (Malpighia Pendiculata), a Dwarf Snowflake (Breynia Disticha Nana), a Singapore Holly (Malpighia Coccigera), and an Orchid (Phalaenopsis) any and all advise/help is appreciated=-)

thanks,
Gardener
 

bisjoe

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Off contains deet, (diethyl toluamide) a solvent based chemical that will not only kill plants but can dissolve paint and nail polish. There may also be propellants and other ingredients that are bad for trees. It might have been better to use some mild soap rather than just rinsing, but now all you can do is wait to see how bad the damage is. The percentage of deet in pesticide is higher than in repellent but both can kill a tree. If luck is with you only the leaves were killed and the trees will come back.
 

Gardener

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Off contains deet, (diethyl toluamide) a solvent based chemical that will not only kill plants but can dissolve paint and nail polish. There may also be propellants and other ingredients that are bad for trees. It might have been better to use some mild soap rather than just rinsing, but now all you can do is wait to see how bad the damage is. The percentage of deet in pesticide is higher than in repellent but both can kill a tree. If luck is with you only the leaves were killed and the trees will come back.

I have worked with the Deet chemical at my job before (I am a gardener by traid) so I am aware of how harmfull it is to plants in general. At work we have a general rule that if it looks bad or if it turns brown then it should be cut off, the plant will try to give energy back to the affected area to try to bring it back to life...with out the affected part the plant will try to regrow something in it's place to gain the energy it is losing. With this being said, I did cut off the dying leaves to try to promote new growth...the trunks and branches are still flexable, they haven't turned briddle so given what I know about plants I think they should come back and they don't seem to be doing any worse than they were a week ago.

I am just going to keep them watered like usual and wait it out.

Should I fertlize to promote the growth? - A bonsai "expert" told me (before this happened) that ferts should almost never be used (since it promotes growth). This "expert" holds a bonsai society meeting in the next county from where I live and there won't be another meeting untill spring. The "expert" wasn't a nice person so I never got an e-mail address for him or a phone number


Thanks
Gardener
 

Vance Wood

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One big problem you may experience is that most of the trees you have are paticularly sensitive to even mild insecticides.
 

johng

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Should I fertlize to promote the growth? - A bonsai "expert" told me (before this happened) that ferts should almost never be used (since it promotes growth). This "expert" holds a bonsai society meeting in the next county from where I live and there won't be another meeting untill spring. The "expert" wasn't a nice person so I never got an e-mail address for him or a phone number
It seems your "expert's" advice is no better than his demeanor. Bonsai trees, like all plants, benefit from fertilizer. However, I am sorry to say that I lack the experience to tell you what is best in your specific situation. Please know though, that every bonsai grower I know fertilizes regularly though the growing season.

John
 

Vance Wood

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It seems your "expert's" advice is no better than his demeanor. Bonsai trees, like all plants, benefit from fertilizer. However, I am sorry to say that I lack the experience to tell you what is best in your specific situation. Please know though, that every bonsai grower I know fertilizes regularly though the growing season.

John
It is a generally accepted axiom that you never fertilize a stressed out tree and from what I understand that is what you are dealing with.
 

Gardener

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It seems your "expert's" advice is no better than his demeanor. Bonsai trees, like all plants, benefit from fertilizer. However, I am sorry to say that I lack the experience to tell you what is best in your specific situation. Please know though, that every bonsai grower I know fertilizes regularly though the growing season.

John

How frequently do they fertilize?
 
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